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J Infect Dis. 1987 Oct;156(4):548-54.

Coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from cerebrospinal fluid shunts: importance of slime production, species identification, and shunt removal to clinical outcome.


We collected and characterized 85 strains of coagulase-negative staphylococci (51 pathogens and 34 contaminants) from cerebrospinal fluid shunts. All isolates were classified by species and characterized by antimicrobial susceptibility and quantitative adherence to plastic tissue culture plates. There were more adherent organisms among pathogens than among contaminants (P less than .01). Species distribution was similar for both groups; however, 20% of the pathogens and none of the contaminants were phosphatase-negative Staphylococcus epidermidis (P less than .05). Resistance to four or more antimicrobial agents was detected in 45% of both groups. Neither species designation nor antimicrobial resistance correlated with clinical outcome. Five (83%) of six infections due to nonadherent (vs. 16 [41%] of 39 due to adherent; P less than .05) coagulase-negative staphylococci were, however, cured with antimicrobial therapy alone. Cure was highly associated with removal of the colonized shunt--38% of infected patients treated with antimicrobial therapy alone were cured, 75% treated with antimicrobial therapy and partial shunt removal were cured, and all treated with antimicrobial therapy and total shunt replacement were cured.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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